Hempstead, N.Y. - After staying undefeated in Colonial Athletic Association play, the Hofstra softball team will try and sustain momentum with a pair of non-conference games starting Tuesday with a home game against Fordham at 6 p.m. from Hofstra Softball Stadium.
Since the March17 home opener, Hofstra is 22-2. Following a 2-11 start, the Pride is now 24-13 overall en route to an 11-0 conference record that has the Pride in sole possession of first place. After a three-game weekend sweep over George Mason at home, the Pride will look to cap an eight-game homestand with a win over the Rams. Hofstra is currently 6-1 on the stretch but will oppose a Fordham squad that is 27-17 overall and 12-3 playing away from the Bronx.
Hofstra will then make the short trek to St. John's to oppose the Big East-member Red Storm on Wednesday at 4 p.m. St. John's is 15-28 this season.
A surging offense has supported strong pitching performances from junior Olivia Galati and senior Erin Wade. In CAA play, Hofstra is out-hitting foes, .404 to .163 in holding a 98-21 run-scoring advantage. Galati and Wade have taken advantage of the run support, pitching to a combined 1.42 ERA in league games with teams hitting just .163 against them.
In the seven games last week, Hofstra out-scored Central Connecticut State, Lehigh and Mason by a combined 62-17 while slugging a collective .610.
Fresh off winning the NFCA's National Division I Player of the Week honor, Galati followed her award-winning week by producing even better statistics for an encore. The right-hander pitched in five games for Hofstra in a 6-1 week, going 5-0 in recording a sparking 0.27 ERA. At the plate, she hit .526 while going 10-for-19 with five runs scored, nine RBIs and four extra base hits while not striking out..
In 25 2/3 innings, she struck out 39 against just two walks. She allowed just one earned run in the entire week. On Sunday against George Mason, Galati threw her fifth career no-hitter in a five-inning victory. The only base runner for the Patriots came on a dropped third strike to end the perfect bid. Galati generated 14 runs at the plate while allowing just one, helping Hofstra out-score opponents, 45-7, in games in which she pitched.
Ziemba has been one of Hofstra's hottest hitters in providing
middle-of-the-order protection. Ziemba has eight multi-RBI games in the last 19
contests. Her home runs in back-to-back games at Rutgers and versus Binghamton
and most recently against Lehigh gave her eight home runs on the season in
tying with Becca Bigler for the team lead. Ziemba leads Hofstra with 30 RBIs.
Her 75 total bases is third in the league.
Senior catcher Courtney Crews has earned her title as the team's on-base percentage leader (.457). The upperclassman has been hit by a pitch 21 times this season. The bruises have paid off as Crews has scored 25 runs and is one of nine Hofstra players to have on-base percentages greater than .400.
Hofstra holds the all-time lead against Fordham, 6-2, with the entire lineup hitting at a prodigious rate. Sophomore Tori Rocha smashed a three-run home run in the Pride's series-sweeping victory over Mason, marking her first home run in 45 career games. Rocha has raised her average 293 points since March 18 and her current .360 average is now just eight points behind Galati for the team lead.
Fans can follow the live stats through GoHofstra.com and listen to the audio of the Fordham contest via Pride Zone.